FPHL Power Rankings: Dec. 6th-7th

FPHL Power Rankings: Dec. 6th-7th

By Shawn Johnson

December 12, 2019

Week 1 of power rankings are in the books, so we move on to week 2. I have analyzed last week’s scores, stats and overall performances and here are the newly updated power rankings:

10) Battle Creek Rumble Bees (0-17),5th  place Western Division

*Rank Last Week: 10 (no change)

The Battle Creek Rumble Bees’ struggles continue. Losing their seventeenth straight game over the weekend has likely ended their hopes of making the playoffs.  The winless Bees have made many roster changes to include adding, subtracting and trading players, but nothing seems to be working in their favor. The rumble bees were at home over the weekend to take on the defending champs Carolina Thunderbirds.  The birds outscored Battle Creek 13-1. 

9) Delaware Thunder (2-12), 5th place Eastern Division

*Rank Last Week: 9 (no change)

Delaware is on a six game losing streak. The problems continue defensively. They have a solid top line. Unfortunately for Delaware, Ryan Marker cannot do it all on his own. He needs help in the offensive zone, and with his linemate Brandon Contratto suspended for five games things are not looking good for Delaware. 

8) Columbus River Dragons (5-7-1-1), 4th place Western Division

*Rank Last Week: 6 (Down 2)

Columbus has been struggling as of late. Losing Yianni Liarakos did not help their situation.  The River Dragons have not had much success on the power play only posting 18 percent on the power play.  Poor play resulting in a 4-2 loss at home to Port Huron has sent Columbus down two spots to #8

7) Port Huron Prowlers (5-6-2-0), 3rd place Western Division

*Rank Last Week: 8 (Up 1)

The Prowlers have climbed 1 spot this week defeating Columbus 4-2 on the road. Zulkanycz, Pfeiffer and Robertson (twice) all found the back of the net. Columbus had their chances to take down Port Huron with 3 power play opportunities, but could not capitalize. The prowlers showed their power with the penalty kill unit. 

6) Mentor Ice Breakers (9-7), 3rd place Eastern Division

*Rank Last Week: 4 (Down 2)

Mentor went on the road to Danville and got swept. They were close games, but Mentor could not steal one.  Jon Buttitta currently leads the league in points (33) goals (17) and shorthanded goals (3). Buttitta has been playing phenomenally, but now that Parker Moskal has left Mentor, how will the team respond?

5) Elmira Enforcers (7-6-1-1), 4th place, Eastern Division

*Rank Last Week: 7 (Up 2)

Elmira jumps up two spots this week because they took down the best team in the Eastern Division, the Watertown Wolves, and swept the weekend.  Ahmed Mafouz had five points over the weekend leading the charge. The Enforcers continue to show the league who the most physical team is by leading the league in penalty minutes. 

4) Watertown Wolves (11-4) 1st place, Eastern Division

*Rank Last Week: 2 (Down 2)

The battle of New York took place last weekend and the Enforcers proved to be the better team, despite their record.  Watertown put up a fight Saturday (literally 3, PORT, ASSELSTINE X 2) however failed to keep the puck out of the back of their own net losing 7-4. Don’t count Watertown out yet though, they’re still the best team in the East and have the biggest threat with Tyler Gjurich on the power play. However, the Wolves dropped two spots following their weekend series against the Enforcers.

3) Danville Dashers (9-7) 2nd place, Western Division

*Rank Last Week: 5 (Up 2)

Danville made a statement this past weekend with two wins over the Mentor Ice Breakers.  There were too many penalties to count over the weekend, but the scores were so close that I don’t believe penalties even played a factor in the game. Fred Hein is having himself a year, the defense is playing great hockey and the Dashers have climbed their way up in the standings as well as in our power rankings. 

2) Danbury Hat Tricks (9-4-0-2) 2nd place, Eastern Division

*Rank Last Week: 3 (Up 1)

Is there a team hotter than the Danbury Hat Tricks right now? They are the Carolina Hurricanes of the Federal Prospects Hockey League. They are SURGING. They are having fun playing the game and the fans are having fun watching. Danbury is on a 7 game win streak and they show no signs of slowing down.  Ruiz, Levesque, DiNicola and Kasek are unstoppable. McGuckin is having himself a season as well.  Their sweep of the Thunder helped boost the Hat Tricks to second in our rankings.

1) Carolina Thunderbirds (14-1) 1st place, Western Division

*Rank Last Week: 1 (No Change)

The Thunderbirds just cannot be stopped. We saw them play like this last year and they went on to win the FPHL Commissioners Cup. The birds have played 15 games and won 14 of them. Their only loss came 11 games ago to the Danbury Hat Tricks. Carolina's penalty kill is the best in the league, currently sitting at 92%. Petr Panacek is having himself a season as well. He is second in points (32), third in assists (19) third in points per game (2.1), second in shorthanded goals (2) and has the best plus minus in the league (+25). With an elite offense and phenomenal goaltending from HenryDill who has the most shutouts in the league (3) I don’t expect the birds to stop soaring anytime soon.